Percutaneous Ultrasound Gastrostomy: Development of a safer, more affordable, and more efficient method for feeding tube placement.

Period of Performance: 09/15/2017 - 02/28/2018


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Coaptech, LLC
Principal Investigator


The goal of this project is to test a safer, more accessible method for placement of gastrostomy feeding tubes. Millions of patients worldwide require enteral nutrition, and hundreds of thousands of gastrostomy (feeding tube placement) procedures are performed annually. Key patient populations receiving gastrostomy procedures include Medicare enrollees in the United States, pre-term infants in developing nations, and individuals managing chronic diseases which are increasing in incidence, such as cancer and strokes. The current standard of practice for placement of nearly all feeding tubes worldwide is called the Percutaneous Endoscopic Gastrostomy (PEG) method. PEG is costly, complex, and potentially risky to perform, as it is performed in a surgical suite about 85% of the time, requiring specialty providers and sophisticated imaging instruments. We have invented a new device and method, using magnets and low-cost ultrasound, called Percutaneous Ultrasound Gastrostomy (PUG), which will improve and simplify the gastrostomy procedure on many dimensions. The most important difference between our method and PEG is that the PUG device will allow 80% of all gastrostomy procedures to be performed at the patient?s bedside - without specialist consultants, expensive imaging, and surgical suite time (for the remaining 20% of cases, the PUG device will be contraindicated, and a conventional PEG may be performed). Migration of methods from the surgical theatre to the patient bedside has successfully occurred for many different specialty procedures over the previous two decades, and in each instance has led to substantially reduced cost and improved patient satisfaction, with comparable or better safety outcomes. The PUG device has been successfully tested in human cadavers and live canines, and has a clear regulatory pathway laid out through meetings held between CoapTech and the FDA. In this Phase 1 SBIR project we will complete FDA-requested verification and validation testing and necessary quality controls of the device with an eye toward safety and commercial viability. Successful completion of this project will position the device for submission to the FDA for Investigational Device Exemption approval, in preparation for a small clinical study, bringing this new method significantly closer to improving outcomes and experience for patients worldwide.